It’s no secret that I love Korean food. I think I post about it every month (or at least that’s just the way it feels). I’ve written about galbi, pork bulgogi, kimchi pancakes, squid, crab, and who knows what else. Well, now I come to you with more Korean food adventures. This time I tackled the fine art of Korean soon-tofu stew. It’s basically a spicy, hot, red broth filled with tofu and various other items (depending on the variety one orders). I’ve ordered this item several times at local LA spots BCD Tofu and Beverly Tofu House, and feeling emboldened, I decided I would attempt making it on my own. Results after the jump…
Can’t make a tofu stew without tofu. Luckily I had bought a fresh new package because the leftover tofu I had in this container from a previous recipe had gone beyond bad. So bad that I was afraid to open it up. More on that later.
Things start off with some beef broth, seen here in handy concentrate form.
Next, I need 3 oz. of kimchi. I should note that other varieties of this recipe require clams or beef or oysters instead. I didn’t feel like spending extra $$ for those items; so I stuck with kimchi soon-tofu since I already had some kimchi on hand.
My discarded beef broth wrappers go in my Anne Burrell-inspired “Thank You For Coming” bag.
Behold the majesty of BEEF BROTH!
3 oz. of kimchi, exactly.
I don’t mess around.
Of course, I really like kimchi; so I added more. Here it is all chopped up.
And here is the KEY ingredient: the Beverly Tofu Sauce (this recipe comes from Beverly Tofu House). The sauce is hot pepper powder mixed with soy sauce, salt, garlic, and broth or water. It then sits for at least three days in the fridge and up to two weeks. Here’s the sauce after a week. Super spicy, garlicky, and aromatic.
The kimchi, broth, and sauce all goes into a saucepan. Commence boiling!
Seven minutes later…
In the meantime, I chop up some scallions. It’s how I do.
I also wash some bean sprouts. They will come into play imminently.
While the bean sprouts bubble away, I get my soft tofu ready. 10 oz. worth.
This saucepan has a tad too much surface area, and so I add some extra broth to keep the whole thing from evaporating away.
In goes the tofu!
Sesame oil makes a cameo appearance.
What’s up, EGG?
After the tofu has boiled for about five minutes, I add the scallions and about an eighth of a teaspoon of sesame oil.
And in goes the egg. Some people let the egg just sit there and sort of poach. I, however, swish it all around. After a minute or two, it’s ready to plate.
And there it is. This dish won’t win any points for presentation, and yes, I realize it kiiiiind of looks like vomit, but I can assure you it was most delicious and tasted almost exactly like the restaurant!
The verdict? A definite win. Like I said, this recipe tasted as good as the restaurant, and with all the tofu and the egg, it proved to be quite filling, which isn’t always the case with a vegetarian dish. Plus, I’d say this is a fairly healthy stew. With the exception of the egg (which can be omitted), the ingredients are all low in cholesterol. And did I mention it tasted really, really good? Be warned though: it can be quite spicy. Plus, I burned my tongue. So there’s that.
Oh, and that old tofu I found? Well, I finally summoned to courage to open the tupperware: